The Orange Mist is the first episode of the second Common Series.
"Killing them was fun! Super fun!" - James
In the small English village of Grinsly, Halloween is more celebrated than Christmas. A joyous time that could rival Mexico's Day of the Dead. But in 2013, an eerie thick orange fog rolls into the village on the eve of that faithful night. The smog has infected the children. The children now want this Halloween to be a bit... different.
Grisling - October 30th 2013
James Davis is being tucked into bed by his mother, Lorna. As she is getting him ready, a thick, ominous orange fog slowly creeps towards the village. The fog reaches the village and completely surrounds the houses. An old farmer, hears a ruckus in his barn and comes out of his house to investigate. He then sees that his sheep have disappeared and there is strange noises near his feet. Lorna leaves James' room and switches off the light. As soon as she does, a pumpkin-headed scarecrow appears out of the nowhere at the corner of James' room. Rather than scream, James stares at it and says 'hello'. The farmer races towards his house, followed by the screeches and whines from within the mist. The pumpkin headed creature stays silent, before finally saying 'hello' as well. The farmer is then sucked into the fog and only is gurgling screams are heard and slashing noises before silence.
The day after, the TARDIS appears and the Doctor, Amy and Rory are surprised that they are again not where they planned. The Doctor says that the TARDIS must be very interested in this place to simply shift course like that. Although there is no fog (and that they were completely unaware that there was), Rory sees that the walls of the village's houses have been partially stained a rusty orange colour, like dried in ooze and that the village looks deserted. The Doctor examines (tastes) it and says that the substance is some form of 'fog solution' like the ones used by smoke machines but this has some very interesting properties, like the fact it contains traces of carbon, hydrogen and silicon. Amy points out smoke machines don't use that. The Doctor then says that they dont on Earth.
A young girl then appears from inside one of the houses. The Doctor calls out to her to ask what has been going on. The girl then points and emits a blood curdling and quite alien scream. Suddenly, a group of children burst from windows and doors and chase after them. Everyone runs away from the ravenous children and manage to hide in the barn the farmer owned. The children scower the field for them but a voice that they seem to only hear tells them to return to their 'posts' and prepare for the 'harvest'. The children then all leave.
Amy asks what sort of children attack people like that and why did that little girl scream like that. The Doctor theorises that they are possibly not even children, or at least not anymore. He says that they should probably get back to the TARDIS and scan the area for anyone who still might be human. Before they can, a vicar appears and says that there is no need. They must follow him back into the church.
Inside the church, they find three other adults there, but no normal children. The Doctor asks what happened to the children. A man, George, says that the previous night, something happened. People went missing all of a sudden and were fund mutilated in the morning. Animal skeletons were found in starnge positions beside weird symbols. At night, the children were fine, but a weird fog rolled in and soon they woke up and kept talking about a scarecrow telling them things. Most of the parents thought they were just nightmares or they were just excited about the Halloween celebrations. Then they found out that all the children mention the 'pumpkin head man' but as soon as we saw something was wrong, the children went rabid. The people in the chrch were they only survivors when the children massacred the village. They seem to never go into the church,like something is keeping them away. The vicar insists that God is keeping the demons within them at bay but the Doctor says that they probably have no use for the church or because no one goes to church on Halloween. The Doctor asks what the people did during Halloween. Lorna says that they had a huge village festival and that they celebrated it better than Christmas as a time for remembering their lost loved ones. The Doctor says that whatever has taken them is using Halloween as a way to break through the barriers of whatever was keeping it from being a bother earlier, possibly an incorporeal being or the psychic residue of a deceased individual, or another rift in spacetime. However, a voice then told him that it was 'sent here'.
Everyone appears startled and the Doctor asks to see this entity face to face. The entity then says that it can show you a face as it 'hasn't got one'. The church doors swing open and in front of an army of possessed children is the pumpkin headed scarecrow.
The Doctor asks to know who this evil is. The scarecrow introduces itself as Samhain, an entity composed of fear and born aeons ago. The entity fused itself on the basic principles of the holiday of All Hallow's Eve and all similar festivities as well, becoming its 'guardian'. It travels to one location of humans every year and will 'judge' them to see if the celebrations are fitting enough to be worthy of their lives. If not, Samhain sends a terrible plague to wipe out the humans in whatever town, village or city he is in and sleep until next Halloween and then move on to another.
Lorna snaps back suddenly saying that Halloween is always celebrated properly in Grinsley, and asks why Samhain would begin murdering everyone. Samhain pauses and with cold bluntness, reveals that he did so because he was 'bored'. The Doctor, Amy and Rory are visibly sickened. Samhain then says that because everyone celebrates Halloween so enthusiastically now, he has not been able to spread his fear for decades - so he thought he would do so anyway.
The Doctor tries to think of things to do on Halloween to 'drive away evil spirits' and tries throwing holy water at Samhain. It has no effect and Samhain says that belief or faith is what he lives off as well, and that the only reason he did not destroy the church is because he was teasing the survivors. Rory then sees that a container of salt is on the floor (possibly just in case salt would work) and he throws some of it onto Samhain and the children. The children are shown to be affected, screaming and roaring. Samhain looks at them all and anrgily tells them to stop. His anger then slightly sounds like desperation and the Doctor seizes the opportunity.
He asks why Samhain wants the children. Samhain asks what he is talking about and the Doctor asks him again. Samhain tries to say that he does not need the children for anything. Amy and Rory join in, saying that the children are doing all his dirty work, yet he puts himself up as an apparently all-powerful creature. Samhain angrily tells them to be quiet and protests that he could kill everyone here without a moment's thought. The Doctor then tells him to kill them. Everyone looks at him in shock but the Doctor persists and tells him to kill them. Samhain then turns to the still-screaming children and is abou to kill them but hesitates. The Doctor, now outside with Samhain and the children, grabs a knife on the ground that a dead old woman was holding (possibly for protection or to cut jack o' lanterns) and plunges it into Samhain's pumpkin head.
Samhain actually looks hurt by this but he quickly turns and says that he could change form, so why would a knife hurt him. The arrogant shade then removes the knife and orange smoke rapidly hisses out and Samhain screams as he falls 'dead', with the fog now gone, the children back to normal and the carcass of Samhain now a mere scarecrow. Amy asks how the Doctor knew that that would work. The Doctor says that when he told him to kill the children, Samhain couldn't do it. Halloween is not just about death, but also to celebrate life and children were that life - Samhain needed new life to allow him to walk and kill, being the very essence of Halloween. The Doctor knew of Samhain's arrogance and used it against him, and by filling him with doubt could make him vulnerable. Rory asks if Samhain is dead, but the Doctor says that he is Halloween, and as long as Halloween is celebrated - he will live.
When everyone enters the TARDIS, they fail to notice a jack o' lantern in fron of them suddenly light up with a bit of orange smoke rising from the candle, and Samhain's sinister laugh heard very faintly.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Samhain - Ralph Fiennes (voice)
- James Davis - Tyger Drew-Honey
- Sandra Jenkins - Holly Gibbs
- Natasha - Ramona Marquez
- Lorna Davis - Julie Graham
- Rev. Michaels - Ian McDiarmid
- Mrs. Gordon - Nina Sosanya
- George Hills - James D'Arcy
Behind the scenes
- The 'default form' of Samhain is heavily inspired by the common image of a pumpkin-headed man seen in every Halloween card or type of decoration.
- The use of possessed or just evil children attacking and killing the adult population in a small village or town parallels such horror films as Village of the Damned and Children of the Corn.
- Another horror film inspired an aspect of the episode. The rolling mist that carries a malevolent force within it is similar to the John Carpenter film The Fog.
- The way the little girl screams and points to the Doctor and co. is a direct reference to the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- The Doctor and a band of 'survivors' tarpped in a church is similar to the episodes, Father's Day and His Return.
- The name of the creature, Samhain (pronounced: SAH-win) is the name of a Celtic harvest festival held on October 31 - November 1 and roughly translates from Old Irish as 'summer's end'. The traditions of Samhain would eventually be incorporated into the celebration of Halloween.